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Natura 2000 in Slovenia

The European Union declared 21 May European Natura 2000 Day. Natura 2000 is a European network of special protected areas. Slovenia is one of the countries with the highest biodiversity in Europe.

The main objective of Natura 2000 is to preserve biodiversity for future generations. It protects animal and plant species and habitats that are rare or already endangered in Europe.

The EU Natura 2000 network was set up as part of the implementation of the Habitats and Birds Directives.

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Natura 2000 sites in Slovenia

Slovenia has 355 Natura 2000 sites, of which 324 are designated under the Habitats Directive and 31 under the Birds Directive. Natura 2000 sites cover 37.46% or 7,681 km2 of Slovenia’s territory and have around 128,000 inhabitants.

Forests account for 71% of these protected areas, 5% of sites lies above the treeline, 23% consists of agricultural land and overgrown land, 1% is water, and 2% is built-up areas.

The Triglav National Park, regional and landscape parks, reserves and natural monuments account for 29% of the Natura 2000 sites.

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In recent years Slovenia has made an effort to improve the status of the grassland in the Ljubljana Marshes, the Cerknica intermittent lake and Planinsko polje, Goričko and the Karst; to restore the marshland in the regions of central Slovenia and Gorenjska; and to improve the conditions for European important the species and habitats in the Vipava valley and the Julian Alps.

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The objective of the LIFE Integrated Project is to enhance the implementation of the Natura 2000 Management Programme for Slovenia.

The project’s 15 partners, who have experience in nature protection, agriculture, forestry and water management, are working on systemic solutions to the Management Programme and perform different field activities in the regions of Slovenian Istria, Štajerska, the Kamnik-Savinja Alps, and the Grintovci area.

  • temni mravljiscar MatjazBedjanic

    Temni mravljiščar. Photo: Matjaž Bedjanič

Some species that are almost extinct have recently been spotted in Slovenia, for example the four-lined snake in Istria, and the capercaillie, black grouse, pygmy-owl and rock ptarmigan in the Kamnik-Savinja Alps and the Grintovci area. Rhysodes sulcatus, an endangered species, has been sighted in Štajerska.

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Author: Tanja Glogovčan Belančić

Date: 20. May 2020

Time to read: 1 min